tv [untitled] February 27, 2011 10:30pm-11:00pm PST
>> welcome to "culture wire." on this episode, we explore what it means to the aged, in today's society -- what it means to be chicana in today's society. chica chic features an array of artwork by five leading chicana artists that addresses a range of issues such as integration, sustainability, and integration. using a distinct visual approach, each of the artist's response to the shifting needs of their communities in ways that offer unique perspectives and multiple points of entry. >> the exhibition is to bring together the voices of a new generation chicana artists, all
of whom reference the works of the civil-rights movement in their works, but they are also responding to a new cultural concerns and new cultural circumstances. >> the works in the show include a large canvas depicting a woman washing the beach with her hair at the u.s./mexican border. the painting encourages the viewer to engage with the current debates over immigration and the politics of women and labor. influenced by the campaigns of the chicano civil rights movement, this oakland artist is a print maker whose work has helped and sustainability with the immigrant community as well as other current sociopolitical issues. this print-based work draws on appropriated agricultural worker manuals and high fashion labels to satirically address class issues, cultural identities, and
consumerism. >> angelica -- her father was an agricultural worker, so she has drawn a lot from the materials the agricultural department sends to agricultural workers, referencing the depiction of farm workers and some of the information about pesticide application. >> mitzi combines a variety of media, including embroidery, to create artifacts of mexican, chicano, pop culture. she greets immensely detailed drawings of celebrities on the same platform of her friends and families. her work combines elements of chicano portraiture and low writer art, rendered in upon new art style, or intricate drawings on handkerchiefs, also -- often associated with prison art. her portrait of three girls is among several of original posters by the exhibition artists, which are on view at various bart stations as part of
a public campaign funded by the national endowment of the arts. from the outset, the curator felt it was important for the exhibition to have a public art components of the work could reach the widest possible audience. more than just a promotion, the posters connect the work of these powerful artists with new audiences, including the vital chicano and latino community. images can be found in bart stations located in san for cisco and oakland. >> it is enormously exciting for me personally and for the institution. the poster with up right after new year's, and i remember very vividly -- i am a regular rider, and i went into the station and saw the first poster i had seen, it was incredibly exciting. it is satisfying to know that through the campaign, we are reaching a broader audience.
>> for more information about >> welcome to "culture wire." i'm here with james lee, and exhibiting artist, and we will have a chat today about the body of work you are presenting. after you left the military, what prompted you to go back to a place where the u.s. is engaged in military action? >> it is interesting. the population of afghanistan is around 29 million, and there's probably no more than
80,000 u.s. soldiers serving in afghanistan right now, but if you look at the stories that come out, you think the numbers are completely reversed. all the stories are about americans, and you see almost no images of stories about the afghan people themselves, so if you look at the dominant representational paradigm uc today, it is all about foreign soldiers. my idea was to try incurred counted to that a popularized narrative and focus on images and stories that really reflect that lived experience of conflict through the eyes of the afghan people. >> you are exhibiting with three other photographers. it is true all three of them have really focused in the areas where a lot of u.s. and allied forces are seeing action, are actually involved in combat, so your story is different than theirs. what does it mean to show your body of work along side of the
stories that probably are more familiar? what kind of juxtaposition does that create for you as an artist? >> i think the strength of bringing the two different stories together is i think there is a real danger in focusing only on surface similarities between conflicts. when people look at a body of work and say that they see in this conflict photography, and it reminds them of somalia or iraq, i think that is dangerous because i think there are very unique elements to each conflict, and if you do not focus on the distinctions, you start to create a broader, watered-down topic, which is armed conflict, so i think it is important that when we focus on conflict, we make sure we do not just generalize, but we allow specific places and voices and people to be heard and we do not make these generalized assumptions about what conflict is like. >> the other photographers in the show, what is local, and the others are from new york and new
delhi. what do you like about some of their work? >> in a big fan of the fact that he approaches photography from a non-traditional point of view. he also cunner has a mixed view of cameras themselves. he calls them toys. >> he uses these cameras that one might assume our toys, but he also says all the toy cameras are cameras, so it does not really matter to him what he is using to take the images as long as he is getting the images he wants. and because they are taken with these film cameras, they have a very different feel than the other pictures in the show. one of the things i want to talk about is that lindsey's body of work is running down one side of the hall, and it is all about women in afghanistan and how they serve and their special interactions with civilian women
and communities, which is the special role that women soldiers play in afghanistan. across from eric copeland's work, which is extremely masculine and black and white and very aggressive -- what do you think about that juxtaposition between their two bodies of work? >> i like lindsey's contribution to the exhibit. she shoots in color, like i do, so it is great to see more color. she has a gift for capturing distinct moments that balance the conflict that these women are facing did today, but also very intimate, very feminine moments. she has one where a female soldier is shaving her legs at the beginning of her day, and it is kind of an odd thing to consider, but, obviously, it happens every day, but most people do not think about the challenges that face women in these types of environments where they continue to be feminine, continue to be women, but they also serve a vital role in afghanistan. she allows viewers to come in
and see those kinds of intimate moments you might not normally think about. >> to our viewers, and actually the curator of the show. one of the things i was interested in with your work and with the other bodies of work i selected was that you are presenting a real human perspective. each of you zeroes in on individuals, and the kind of sensitive, intimate, or private moments. >> if you look at most people's lives today and the way they spend their lives, it is probably not that different from what goes on on some of these larger for an operating basis. they have cafeterias. they have internet cafes. they have laundromats. they have their own spaces where they read, play video games. it is really like a small, microcosm of what they might find back in the united states. >> what do you hope that viewers take away from seeing your body of work or the exhibition as a whole? >> i think it is important for people to question how much we
do or do not know about afghanistan, but conflict in general. too often today, i think we see one or two images and we think we understand what is going on in a part of the world, and we should try to get away from that. we should question what we know about a conflict, where we got the information, and always look for new perspectives and new focus is on topics that we think we already understand. >> james, thank you for spending time with us, and congratulations on the exhibition and letting san francisco see this big body of work of yours. >> thanks. >> welcome to "culturewire." for the past year, the arts commission has been participating in the city's effort to revitalize the central market street corridor. in addition to the thursday arts
market and are in store front, the art commission recently launched the artery project. for the next year, the artery project will bring energy and excitement to market street, recalling the st.'s heyday as san francisco's vibrant and bustling theater district. >> un.n plaza during business hours seize hundreds of passing office workers and students, but the activity winds down at 5:00 every day. theater productions bring some but traffic, but central market is more of a thoroughfare than a destination after the sun goes down. on december 9, the artery project's launch brought a party atmosphere to market street, led by mayor gavin newsom, city
officials flipped the switch on three new art installations that light up the st.'s architecture. a looping a video at 1119 market street was the first words to be some -- the first work to be seen that evening. before the unveiling, the director of cultural affairs spoke to artist jim campbell about the concepts behind bourbon reflection and how he created the work. >> i'm really excited to have your installation on public view starting today here on market street. you created a site-specific work. can you talk about that? >> yes, i looked at two or three different locations, and this one seemed the best. i work with customer electronics, so indoors seemed the best for the work. i also like how close it was 2 market street itself. it is only about 10 feet away, so i chose this location.
>> what is the duration? if someone were to stand in front of your installation today. >> at the moment, it is 12 minutes, but i've been thinking about adding footage over the time because it is going to go through a couple of seasons. >> could you describe a little bit in terms of what your creative process is? >> it is a curtain, and image made up of a curtain, so it is very valuable, and the idea was to use this technology that i've been using for the last 10 years, low resolution imagery, to reflect market street back to the pedestrians walking by. the reason that it kind of works in this environment is that you see people walking by. you see cars going by. you see buses going by, but you cannot help we the people are because it is low resolution. you cannot see their faces. you can see the way they walk. you might be able to tell the kind of car going by. >> what do you think passersby
will experience? >> i was thinking it was going to be a test of the success of the work if people stop and look. i have noticed in the last few nights that people do stop and look. a certain percentage. one of the things i was playing with was the ambiguity of whether it is alive or not, so people walk by, and they might even move like this back and forth, thinking that they are in the image, and they realize that it is a daytime shot, and that kind of thing. >> thanks for being part of life on market street. >> my pleasure. >> after the lighting of urban reflection, mayor newsom led the party to the corner of seventh street. lighting the way down the street were members of the filipino cultural center's youth program, carrying traditional core role lanterns. on the side of the resort hotel is a projection titled "storylines."
working with students from the art commission writer's corps program, paul organized a series of images with text captions. they will change every evening until a different -- and tell a different story. one block away, theodore watson has created an interactive installation that crosses over six street. spaces' begins with a photo capture station on the north side of the street that projects your face on to a building on the south side of the street. on opening night, the installation was an immediate hit with the crowd. we talked with the or what said about his remarkable installation. >> what inspired you to create this interactive piece? >> the work i typically do is kind of interactive installations or both indoor and also outdoor and public space.
for me, what i'm most interested in is how we can use technology to make the city, which is typically quite a static environment architecturally speaking -- how can we make it come alive? >> what i love about your work is there is such sophisticated software and electronics and complex connections that all have to work together to make it successful, but yet, all of that is invisible to the people interact with the work. >> they do not realize there is all these cables and projectors and computers and all this technology behind the scenes, and if you can keep it hidden, it feels like a really magical moment. to me, that is what is inspiring, and that is what makes the public, their eyes light up. >> you feel a little bit like the wizard of oz? >> totally, yes. >> having been on market street for a while and seeing how the public is reacting to your piece, what is your impression of what it is going to be like
here? >> i'm already loving it. just the fact that i can look up and see someone seeing how crazy it is, and i have been bumping into people in the street who are recognized only from their portrait. i'm hoping that people will provide a slightly more friendly way to look at each other in this neighborhood. >> it is helping to reinforce and create a sense of neighborhood. so we want to thank you for being part of this project and thank you for bringing "faces" to san francisco. >> the artery project will have installations on market street until june 2011. this revitalization initiative is funded by the national endowment for the arts in an effort to transform market street into a nationally celebrated cultural district. additional projects and events will be launched throughout the
>> welcome to culturewater. in 2001, the san francisco arts commission and tampa does go public library established an arts master plan for the city soon to be renovated branch library. almost 10 years later, the san francisco arts commission has integrated a collection of vibrant new artworks by bay area artists into five new libraries, and there is more on the way. here is a closer look at some of
the projects. >> the branch library improvement program is a bond funded program undertaken by the san francisco public library to upgrade each of the branch libraries throughout the neighborhoods. one of the great benefits of this opportunity is that each of these branches has a unique artwork that has been created specifically for that branch, based on input from people who live near that branch, in the surrounding neighborhood. >> trur- minded. there was a lot of community support for the project.
i try to make it about the true hill and its history. they were something that natives used for making houses. the construction of the pond is based on abalone house construction. at the bottom of the form, it is woven into a rope which transforms into a manufactured rope. that is a reference to the cordish company, a big industry at the waterfront that went along with the shipbuilding industry. other examples of art work in libraries that you might be interested in seeing it is dana zed's glass shatters in front of a library. there are a wall sculptures in
the lobby of the glen park branch library. and then there is an illuminated book on the wall of the mission bay library. >> "ocean current." we are on ocean avenue, so there is a connection to that. that is what this is about. culmination of all lot of dialogue, processing over a five-year period. that is longer than most art projects take, but i really feel like the product was enriched from that. making the sculpture involves forging and fabricating steel. we used to deal to create this flowing, central sculptor, heating, bending, grinding, painting,